British prosecutors on Wednesday identified two Russians who they said tried to murder former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia using nerve agent.
Mr Skripal, 66, and his daughter Yulia, 33, were poisoned with nerve agent in March. Britain blamed Russia for the poisonings and identified the poison as Novichok, a deadly group of nerve agents developed by the Soviet military in the 1970s and 1980s. Russia has repeatedly denied any involvement in the attack. An European arrest warrant has been issued for the two Russians, Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov. Prosecutors will not ask extradition because the Russian constitution does not permit extradition of its own nationals, said Sue Hemming, director of Legal Services at the Crown Prosecution Service. Traces of Novichok contamination were found in the London hotel room where the two men had stayed.
“Tests were carried out in the hotel room where the suspects had stayed. Two swabs showed contamination of Novichok of levels below that which would cause concern for public health,” Neil Basu, Head of Counter Terrorism policing, said. The offences for the two Russian citizens include conspiracy to murder Sergei Skripal; the attempted murder of Sergei Skripal, Yulia Skripal and Nick Bailey; the use and possession of Novichok contrary to the Chemical Weapons Act; and causing grievous bodily harm with intent to Yulia Skripal and Nick Bailey. Prime Minister Theresa May is to make a statement in the House of Commons.